Penticton encourages residents to register their bikes with Project 529 as thefts increase – Penticton News
An increase in bike theft in Penticton has led the city to urge residents to register their bikes through Project 529 as both a prevention and recovery measure.
The Global Bike Program offers free bike registration that helps track rightful ownership by recording serial numbers, model information, and key IDs.
The program aims to facilitate faster return of stolen bikes to owners and deter would-be thieves. It allows a user who has recently had their bike stolen to send an alert to other users within a nearby radius.
Using the database, potential bike buyers can ensure that a bike they are looking at has not been reported missing.
“It has been used for several years. But we find that there are not a ton of people using it. And we really want to make sure that people register new and old bikes, so that if stolen, the bikes can be returned to their rightful owners,” said Tina Mercier, head of municipal services.
“Both Detachment Officers and Community Safety Officers can check their systems to see if the bike has been reported as stolen,” added Alexis Hovenkamp, Community Policing Coordinator.
Bylaw is working to combat the rise in theft and provide preventative solutions to the community.
“The community has been loud and clear that they’ve seen more and people are much more victims of bike theft, from what we hear and see, very active on social media as well,” said Mercier. .
“Nobody wants their bike stolen, nobody asked for it, we’ve worked really hard for the things we have in our community.”
Preventive measures against bicycle theft suggested by the RCMP include:
- Record the serial number, regardless of the bike’s value, so that it can be added to police computer files, allowing the bikes to be identified if located.
- Photograph your bike, as a reference, to help the police identify it.
- Never leave your bike unlocked in public. If you secure your bike in public, use a high quality lock. Take the extra step and remove the seat or a wheel as an added deterrent.
- Never lock your bike by the front wheel alone. Always lock your bike with two quality locks; use a U-lock and a cable lock. By using more than one style of lock, it will take thieves two types of tools and twice as long to steal your bike.
- If you store your bike at your residence, store it in a secure place with a padlock or on your property inside a locked area.
Reports of stolen bikes in the community are being reported even as people work to add these preventative measures.
“The most brazen attempts have been difficult and difficult for our community to manage. And that’s why we want to make sure we can offer that as a solution to help,” Mercier said.
“We also really want to promote the ability to make sure you lock up your bikes, take them along where possible,” Hovenkamp added.
Even if a bike has been altered or repainted, it can still be recovered with the 529 system when the registrant has entered the serial numbers and ownership data.
“It certainly helps the problem. We rely so much on the eyes and ears of the public and your ability to point things out. And this is very important for this process. Without people reporting things, we have no knowledge to determine if this bike was stolen, simply because it might not appear to belong to that person,” Mercier said.
The bylaws team reminds people that if their bike has been stolen and is spotted in someone else’s possession, it’s best to report the sighting and let law enforcement deal with it. .
“There are obvious safety issues with this, with an opioid crisis and mental health and addiction issues, these are challenges that our community is facing and our whole country is facing as well. So we want to make sure the public is safe. So obviously you have to exercise a lot of caution in these situations,” Mercier said.
“While it may be your bike that you are trying to recover yourself, you need to make sure you consider your own safety first.”
With Project 529, if a bike is stolen, officers have the ability to scan and immediately find out who the rightful owner is.
Register your bike – including e-bikes – for free with Project 529, the bike registration program, run in partnership with the Penticton RCMP. You can register your bike for free in less than five minutes at www.project529.com or download the 529 Garage smartphone app. Get your tags free of charge from the Penticton RCMP Detachment or City of Penticton Municipal Services.
Community Policing will have a stall at the Penticton Farmers Market on July 23 where they can help register bikes.